I was born back in January of 1954. I’m an Air Force baby. My father was the Air Force half.
The town I grew up in was a small town in the northwest corner of the United States. A rather conservative town. Logging, fishing, drinking, beating your wife, hunting for wildlife, scrape the bottom of the barrel for your next meal kind of town. A booming fishing and lumber town in the beginning, but after they peeled as much of both off of the land and harbor, the town rolled up it’s streets and retreated into the life of retired citizens and hard times.
Anyway, as I was growing up in my nice little town, my parents divorced. It was about 1963. This started a pattern for both.
My father: Six weddings, five divorces.
My mother: Four weddings, three divorces.
My two brothers, both younger than me: One divorce each, three weddings total.
Aunts, uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers: Hell, dozens.
This really made me consider that I certainly didn’t want anything to do with marriage. Seriously. If it was that easy to fail at, I certainly wanted no part of it. You don’t bet at the horse track with out a racing form.
I did a bit of inward evaluation and considered that I didn’t have what it took to support that emotional endeavor, as well as not having the capacity to raise children. If I were to consider both, preparing to have children would be the first thing to undertake after agreeing with my spouse that we would head down that road.
Accidentally having children has never seemed wise, in my eyes.
Honestly, I really felt inadequate for both tasks. Marriage can screw up two lives, directly, if it ends in divorce. Having children just adds to that list of lives, if it ends in divorce. Yours, your spouse’s and those children you have in your life.
I left my nice little town at the age of 27. March 3, 1981 was the day I loaded up and left. Cut the ties, gone.
“Big city, I’m on my way.”
I lived alone for many years, 20 actually, after moving. Did fairly well. Worked all of the time. Had I been married, I may have been considered a workaholic, maybe too much to support a marriage emotionally.
Well, after 27 years in my lovely little hometown, then 20 years in the big city, I met a woman. On a computer connected to the east coast of the U. S.
It was a fascinating process and experience. We communicated for at least a year on the web, over the phone and through snail mail, (USPS,) and a week in the middle of that period actually face-to-face in real time. Yeah, I know, duh.
At the end of the year, actually in the month of October, 2001, I packed and moved again. Cut the ties, gone. 2,619 miles. Gone.
I moved with the intention of staying, marrying and finishing my life on the east coast. I was not moving back, unless we both agreed to move. It hasn’t happened yet, and it’s doubtful that it will. I’m good. She’s good. We’re good.
Now, as with any couple, we have had great times together, we have had sad and edgy times together. We have gotten through them all. May 2016 will be our 14th anniversary.
OK, that’s the build up. Next is what I really want to relate, and it will most likely be what many before me have figured out, and what those after hopefully will also understand.
If you have the idea that you never have to change the way you are, that you will never succumb to change from any suggestion from another person, certainly someone you care about enough to marry, you will be making a mistake by marrying them, or anyone. If this is what you believe, you have actually become emotionally stunted. At some point you reached the conclusion that you are adult enough, emotionally mature enough and compassionate enough to call yourself an adult. That point was where you stopped maturing. It isn’t a goal, it’s a continuous journey. You’re falling behind others your age.
As long as you maintain a distance from others, you don’t really need to change. You will never be put on the spot. Then you are fine. However, if you plan to breach that wall, change is coming. Run, hide! Change, nasty, unyielding, disastrous change is on the way.
Consider this. Look at two magnets. They both have two poles. One north, one south. Both poles on each magnet have a pole that objects to the same pole on another magnet, and both poles on each magnet have a pole that conforms to the opposite pole on another magnet. The objecting poles can never be matched evenly unless absolutely forced to do so.
The poles that conform are mutually attractive, so much so that the more they align with each other, the more easily they can be combined to form one magnet.
Consider also that when matched, they actually DO become one magnet. Perfectly aligned, perfectly matched. The two poles that are not touching become the two needed poles that form a complete magnet. The two attracted poles are no longer any kind of issue to the functionality of the now one magnet, even though there are two parts. This harmony will exist till the magnets are separated. If there is no need to separate them, they will function perfectly as a magnet. As ONE magnet.
“But wait, you said you would not have to change.” The magnets did not change, but their relationship to each other certainly did. They have become a functional unit, although they are two entities.
Yes, if you are considering getting married, even if you have lived together for years, you will make an adjustment. It WILL happen in order to complete the final step of the match. It WILL happen. If you don’t accept that change, divorce, or at least, separation is in your future. Or…..you just discontinue talking.
One thing to also consider, if you find that there are things that your new spouse likes, now that you are married and closer, that you hadn’t know they liked and you find that you also now know about and like, you’ve changed. Oooppss, you’ve broken your own rule.
If you really don’t want to change and consider that you never will change, marriage isn’t for you. Regardless of how well you think you’ll do together, if you continue as you were the day before the wedding, you’re wrong.
You’re wrong. Repeat after me, “I’m wrong.”
Claiming that you won’t, or don’t need to change, says more about what you aren’t bringing to the table than how much you will help the process.
But what do I know? I’m the guy who saw more marriage and divorce history in his family that the next five people I know.
Easily 20 of them from just my two grandparents to myself. I’ve been married once. I still am. 14 years, as I said above, in May of next year.
I change everyday. My wife likes that about me.
She’s the bomb.
OK, that’s my rant.
Take care, celebrate safely and sanely on New Year’s Eve. Say “Hello” to 2016.
Thanks for looking,